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Help! Questions About Bone Cancer In Greys.


Guest dfriedri
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Guest dfriedri

I'm a new greyhound owner. I have had Star for just a year. She will be 4 in December. She is a beautiful and sweet girl. In July I had a tumor removed off the back of her neck, it was a hemangiosarcoma. (I'm not good with the medical terms, sorry). The prognosis came back as guarded. The exact same day we got the results of that tumor she started limping and sometimes would not walk at all on her right from leg. It was a little swollen but not bad. The vet said it was possibly bone cancer but could be many other things as well including arthritis or a sprain. At the time she thought it was just coincidence it came at the same time as the tumor in the neck and didn't feel they were related. So we did pain medicine for a few months and the leg would occasionally bother Star and sometimes not at all. This led the vet to believe it was likely arthritis since it was so sporatic and cancer tends to be more progressive. So I just continued to give her Tramadol whenever it bothered her but the medicine never seemed to work that well.

 

A little over 2 weeks ago we had an awful night. Star was up from 2am on till morning. She was crying, whining, and breathing very heavy like she does when there is a storm. I made an appt and a new vet and had them check out the leg cause I was sure she was in pain. They did some xrays and then put her on Rimadyl while we waited for the results since the Tramadol didn't appear to be working. The results came back as 3 possible things, with the first 2 basically being cancer and the third being a fungal infection, which would be treatable. So the vet took a sample of the tumor, which is on the inside of her wrist joint (I don't know what it is in dogs), and also took a sample of the bone. Once again remaining on Rimadyl until the results. The Rimadyl has not worked as well this time and she is in quite a bit of pain but I imagine with a needle getting put in the tumor and scraping the bone she would be.

 

The vet called me today and said it is either Hemangiosarcoma or Ostiosarcoma. He recommends amputation and chemo. If we don't do the chemo she has a 4-5 month prognosis and if we do the chemo it becomes 400 days and only 10% chance she lives 2 yrs. Either way, he recommends amputation to alleviate the pain.

 

Here is my question, is it worth ampultation for a possible 5 months of life? What is the quality of life for a greyhound after amputation? If I can't afford or decide not to do chemo, I want her to have the best quality of life she can till she dies.

I have read some of the other forums on cancer and most of the dogs seem to be anywhere from 6-14 when they were diagnosed. She is so young and will only be 4. It seems so unfair.

I would appreciate any input or suggestions anyone has.

 

 

 

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Guest Energy11

I personally do not amputate. I do only palliative care (pain management), and make sure the dog's quality of life is the BEST. But, there are others who have done amputations with varied results. I am sure they will share their experiences with you, as well.

 

I am sorry to hear you and your young baby girl have to go through this! No matter what you decide, just spend as much time with her as you possibly can! Love, hugs, prayers and good luck! Dee and The Five

Edited by Energy11
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First off, I am very sorry. I have been where you are now.

We amputated for our Polli and had 5 months. It doesn't sound like a lot because there is down time after the surgery (3 weeks) and a week after each chemo (x 5)

 

BUT when she was UP she was UP and she had a ball. She was loving life.

 

Polli had fractured her leg so there were no options for us. Bone canced is exceptionally painful.

 

There are some greyhounds who get 1 , 2 or more years. She could be one of the lucky ones.

 

They adjust realy well. But you need to do what you need to do.

 

Best of luck and prayers for you and your girl.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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I would haveyour vet, or you conuslt with OSU. Dr Couto and his team at the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program are, in my opinion, THE people to talk to about cancer in greyhounds.

Amputation is a very personal decision, and one that is very difficult. I'm asked of ten what I would do, and the answer will be different for each of my hounds. I do know that in a young and otherwise healthy greyhound I would be likely to do it. Amputation withouut chemo will only give you time that is pain free once the healing from the surgery is complete. Chemo can give you time.

Chemo is available free from OSU to any retired racing greyhound. If you do a search, you will see that there are a few on the board here either finished, or undergoing treatment.

You'll find the link to contact OSU at the bottom of my siggy. If you want info about OSU and the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program, click on the Hope for Hounds link above my siggy.

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
Summer-3bjpg.jpg
Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

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Guest dfriedri

16341_553634605064_41300950_32727782_4407087_s.jpg

 

I'm not sure if this picture will work or not but it's of Star doing what she does best. Laying on the couch.

 

Thank you for both imputs. I'm not sure which way to go with her. Just have to pray and sleep on it I guess. I want to do whatever gives her the best and longest life.

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Guest dfriedri

Does it matter how much or what kind of racer they are? Silly question maybe but I know she never won and didn't race long. But she has the tattoos in her ears and came from racing parents.

 

I would haveyour vet, or you conuslt with OSU. Dr Couto and his team at the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program are, in my opinion, THE people to talk to about cancer in greyhounds.

Amputation is a very personal decision, and one that is very difficult. I'm asked of ten what I would do, and the answer will be different for each of my hounds. I do know that in a young and otherwise healthy greyhound I would be likely to do it. Amputation withouut chemo will only give you time that is pain free once the healing from the surgery is complete. Chemo can give you time.

Chemo is available free from OSU to any retired racing greyhound. If you do a search, you will see that there are a few on the board here either finished, or undergoing treatment.

You'll find the link to contact OSU at the bottom of my siggy. If you want info about OSU and the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program, click on the Hope for Hounds link above my siggy.

 

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First of all, I am so sorry you are going through this. I have recently been there myself. Some people opt to amputate, some don't. Our personal choice is it depends on the dog.

 

Our 7 year old girl Cosmo began limping in May and due to some missteps with various vets wasn't diagnosed for several weeks. We wound up doing amputation on June 23. Due to some further delays, missteps, etc, it was August before we were able to begin chemo and only a week or so after that when we found out the cancer had spread. Cosmo's cancer was exceptionally aggressive, and despite our vet's opinion that she probably wouldn't live to see September, Cosmo lived, and lived mostly very well until October 8.

 

My suggestions for you are this...you and your vet should consult with the Greyhound Wellness Program and Dr. Couto and his staff at Ohio State University. Also, if you do decide to go the chemo route, they will provide it to your vet at no charge. Also join the Yahoo group Circle of Greys. You will find a wealth of information from people who have unfortunately been where you are.

 

Whatever you decide to do, make the most of the time you have left. Pain management is crucial. With Cosmo I would say without question she had more good days than bad days and while her cancer turned out to be more aggressive than we could have imagined, I would not hesitate to make the same decision again with her if I had to do it all over again. She was young and we felt like we had to try to do what we could to give her a chance at life. Also, the last few months of her life were without question the most special ones in our time together. Her days were full of car rides, walks at the beach, ice cream cones, cheeseburgers and everything else she loved. Look at my post about Cosmo in Remembrance if you can stand it; it may help you in your decision about what is best for you and your girl.

 

Also, before any decision you need to chest xrays to make sure the cancer hasn't already spread to her lungs. If it has, amputation isn't really a practical option. I know how awful and unfair this is and I am so sorry for you and your girl Star. But we are here to help and answer any questions we can, so please don't hesitate to keep coming back here for help.

...............Chase (FTH Smooth Talker), Morgan (Cata), Reggie (Gable Caney), Rufus
(Reward RJ). Fosters check in, but they don't check out.
Forever loved -- Cosmo (System Br Mynoel), March 11, 2002 - October 8, 2009.
Miss Cosmo was a lady. And a lady always knows when to leave.

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I would hate to see you have the amputation performed only to find out it was fungal in origin--are they absolutely sure?? I would have the slides sent up to OSU for Dr Couto and his path Dr's to re-read the slide for you. If they agree, then yes personally I would have the amp performed--she's so young--she needs a fighting chance. Of course it would solely be your decision--and I'm sure you will do what you feel is best for your girl and we will all respect whatever you decide. Please contact OSU :rolleyes:

Edited by tbhounds
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There's a note from Dr. Stack- a greyhound vet in Yuma- about the protocol used on her own greyhound after an osteo diagnosis. It must be noted that living >4 years post-amp is very unusual.

 

My greyhound, Aussie, now 9 years old, is > 4 years post amputation

(Oct 23, 2003). His protocol:

 

Took x-rays just a few days after noticed him limping. Saw what looked

like osteo at proximal humerus (left shoulder). Did not waste precious

time with a biopsy - amputated the very next day.

 

Started chemo exactly 1 week post-amputation - the day we got biopsy

results back from the lab (we sent in the amputated limb for biopsy).

 

Aussie had 6 carboplatin chemo treatments. No problems except a low

WBC delayed the 6th chemo by 1 week.

 

He's taken 3.75 mg meloxicam (generic Metacam) ever since amputation

because he's got a bad arthritic hock in backleg on same side.

 

1 year post-amputation, I started him on 10 mg tamoxifen once daily.

Tamoxifen is the anti-estrogen drug that breast cancer survivors take

for the rest of their lives. Anecdotally, tamoxifen may be an

anti-angiogenesis drug (a drug that stops new blood vessels from

branching out from tumors). Tamoxifen can have some problems in girl

dogs but is OK for boys. Not approved nor or you likely to be able to

find out much of anything about it. I just started Aus on it because a

friend's boy osteo grey was started on it by Dr. Ogilvie (ex CSU

oncology guru). I figured if it's good enough for Dr. Ogilvie, it's

good enough for me.

 

Aus eats the same food as the rest of my dogs, "Enhance Hunter's Edge"

by ARKAT. We feed it because it's relatively cheap (we have lots of

big dogs) and does a greyt job keeping weight on my greyhounds with

once daily feeding. Relatively high in protein, fat, and calories.

Protein 24%, fat 18%, ~585 calories/cup. Aus doesn't get any

supplements or special treatment and is very fit (we live on 2 & 1/2

acres).

 

Suzanne Stack, DVM

 

 

Another, much more experimental method would entail naltrexone, which has few side effects. There are occasional reports of its use in animals; one anecdotal report involving an unspecified bone cancer where the dog was expected to live 5-7 months is alive a year later; the tumor shrank, and when it began to re-grow they doubled the dose and it went into remission again.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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Having been through this twice now, I can say it was worth it!

 

While it was worth it and right for our dogs, that's not the case for every dog.

 

Miss Nellie, we got 5 months with amputation and 6 rounds of chemo.

 

Now we have Maggie-Mae, going on 1 year November 11th! Amputation and 6 rounds of chemo.

 

There is life after amputation! We that do the amputations are not being selfish...at least I don't look at it that way. I look at amputation as a gift from us because once they take the leg away, the pain gets taken with it. Bone cancer is extremely painful. That then allows them to live out the rest of their life relatively happy and pain free.

 

My happy tripod, Maggie-Mae...she's really loving life and not missing that leg at all!

n527976652_2010802_7047516.jpg

 

Prayers for you and your girl...she's still so young.

Suzie Collins

Owner/Artist Skinny Hound Designs

Greyhound decals, magnets and signs.

Fur kids: Isabelle and Petey

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Guest ThunderPaws
Does it matter how much or what kind of racer they are? Silly question maybe but I know she never won and didn't race long. But she has the tattoos in her ears and came from racing parents.

It has nothing to do if they race or not. My friends' 8 year old greyhound who was adopted straight off the farm as a little puppy died today of osteosarcoma.... :(

Personally, I do not favor aggressive treatment (amputation, chemo, radiation etc) and rather keep the dog comfortable with pain management until it's time. But I accept that everyone has different opinions and realize that each situation is different.

 

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Does it matter how much or what kind of racer they are? Silly question maybe but I know she never won and didn't race long. But she has the tattoos in her ears and came from racing parents.

 

I would haveyour vet, or you conuslt with OSU. Dr Couto and his team at the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program are, in my opinion, THE people to talk to about cancer in greyhounds.

Amputation is a very personal decision, and one that is very difficult. I'm asked of ten what I would do, and the answer will be different for each of my hounds. I do know that in a young and otherwise healthy greyhound I would be likely to do it. Amputation withouut chemo will only give you time that is pain free once the healing from the surgery is complete. Chemo can give you time.

Chemo is available free from OSU to any retired racing greyhound. If you do a search, you will see that there are a few on the board here either finished, or undergoing treatment.

You'll find the link to contact OSU at the bottom of my siggy. If you want info about OSU and the Greyhound Health and Wellness Program, click on the Hope for Hounds link above my siggy.

 

 

Not at all. Only that she is a racing greyhound, not a greyhound that raced.

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
Summer-3bjpg.jpg
Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

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I can't PM you, but if you want to talk, I can call you. You can email me at hopeforhounds @ casualbling.com (just remove the spaces)

Casual Bling & Hope for Hounds
Summer-3bjpg.jpg
Janet & the hounds Maggie and Allen Missing my baby girl Peanut, old soul Jake, quirky Jet, Mama Grandy and my old Diva Miz Foxy; my angel, my inspiration. You all brought so much into my light, and taught me so much about the power of love, you are with me always.
If you get the chance to sit it out or dance.......... I hope you dance! Missing our littlest girl.

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I offer the same advice as Janet above. If you want to chat- you can email me your phone number @ rlm410@optonline.net

 

The first thing I would do is to overnight the films to OSU. Time is not on the side of cancer. See what Dr. Couto says and then make your decisions. Is your vet savvy with greyhounds and anesethesia, meds to prevent bleeding out, etc?

Edited by RobinM

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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Guest dfriedri

Thank you to everyone for your support. It is really helpful.

The vet had her urine tested for the fungal infection. This was at the advice of Iowa State University vets. It came back negative.

My vet here does not have experience with greyhounds as they are not common in our small town area. I was taking her to a city vet before but they missed it alltogether and diagnosed it as arthritis. So I don't really know where to turn. Her vet now is very thorough and spends a lot of time doing research and whatnot but does not have specific experience with greyhounds.

Foxysmom and Robin, I am going to email you my number and would welcome visiting with you about everything. Would for sure help to talk to someone who has more experience with all of this than I do.

Thank you so much!

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Thank you to everyone for your support. It is really helpful.

The vet had her urine tested for the fungal infection. This was at the advice of Iowa State University vets. It came back negative.

 

Did she race in the southwest? More precisely, if she has so much as been hauled through the southwest, valley fever (coccidiomycosis) should be ruled out; if you don't know if she raced here, give us a racing name and maybe we can help rule in or out the possibility.

Coco (Maze Cocodrillo)

Minerva (Kid's Snipper)

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Guest dfriedri
Thank you to everyone for your support. It is really helpful.

The vet had her urine tested for the fungal infection. This was at the advice of Iowa State University vets. It came back negative.

 

Did she race in the southwest? More precisely, if she has so much as been hauled through the southwest, valley fever (coccidiomycosis) should be ruled out; if you don't know if she raced here, give us a racing name and maybe we can help rule in or out the possibility.

 

I am not sure where she raced. I think in Kansas but I don't know for sure.

Stars and Stripes was her racing name. I don't have anything more specific with me right now. I am at my mom's and all of her stuff is at my house. I can check tomorrow for anything else though.

Thank you

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You really want to talk to a veterinary oncologist. The folks at OSU could perhaps be of help in that regard. They will want to review the cytology report, and you will want to review that as well. If she has hemangiosarcoma, there is really no point in doing amputation or chemo. If she has osteosarcoma, the options are perhaps worth discussing.

 

Hugs and best luck to you and your girl. I'm sorry you're facing this whole discussion.

Star aka Starz Ovation (Ronco x Oneco Maggie*, litter #48538), Coco aka Low Key (Kiowa Mon Manny x Party Hardy, litter # 59881), and mom in Illinois
We miss Reko Batman (Trouper Zeke x Marque Louisiana), 11/15/95-6/29/06, Rocco the thistledown whippet, 04/29/93-10/14/08, Reko Zema (Mo Kick x Reko Princess), 8/16/98-4/18/10, the most beautiful girl in the whole USA, my good egg Joseph aka Won by a Nose (Oneco Cufflink x Buy Back), 09/22/2003-03/01/2013, and our gentle sweet Gidget (Digitizer, Dodgem by Design x Sobe Mulberry), 1/29/2006-11/22/2014, gone much too soon. Never forgetting CJC's Buckshot, 1/2/07-10/25/10.

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I was on with Dani- Janet Beeped in on the phone and so I asked Dani to speak to Janet first and I would speak to her after janet

 

I could not find the pups name on GH data.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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I was on with Dani- Janet Beeped in on the phone and so I asked Dani to speak to Janet first and I would speak to her after janet

 

I could not find the pups name on GH data.

 

This might be her.

 

Stars N Stripes

Hobbes-Ricard Hatch09/23/99-12/21/09 Always loved, never forgotten. Wally TNJ Boy Howdy, GLS Genuinerisk Corinna

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I don't have any advice for you, but sending prayers Stars way.

 

I was on with Dani- Janet Beeped in on the phone and so I asked Dani to speak to Janet first and I would speak to her after janet

 

I could not find the pups name on GH data.

 

This might be her.

 

Stars N Stripes

 

 

 

Hobbes-Ricard Hatch09/23/99-12/21/09 Always loved, never forgotten. Wally TNJ Boy Howdy, GLS Genuinerisk Corinna

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I don't have any advice for you, but sending prayers Stars way.

 

I was on with Dani- Janet Beeped in on the phone and so I asked Dani to speak to Janet first and I would speak to her after janet

 

I could not find the pups name on GH data.

 

This might be her.

 

Stars N Stripes

 

yep, that is her!

 

Janet spoke to her, I spoke to her, she is going to email Dr. C tonight and get all the labs/films together for him.

 

I pray that this young (way too young) sweet girl (half sister to my Beau through TN Star Wars) will be OK.

 

 

ROBIN ~ Mom to: Beau Think It Aint, Chloe JC Allthewayhome, Teddy ICU Drunk Sailor, Elsie N Fracine , Ollie RG's Travertine, Ponch A's Jupiter~ Yoshi, Zoobie & Belle, the kitties.

Waiting at the bridge Angel Polli Bohemian Ocean , Rocky, Blue,Sasha & Zoobie & Bobbi

Greyhound Angels Adoption (GAA) The Lexus Project

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My heart goes out to you. :grouphug When I was dealing with osteosarcoma with 3 of my hounds, I found the Circle of Grey group to be a wonderful support, as most folks on that group are dealing with bone cancer. Whatever you decide will be the right choice for your baby girl. Sending lots of prayers and light... :hope:heart

Edited by iluvgreys

Jeanne with Remington & Scooter the cat
....and Beloved Bridge Angels Sandee, Shari, Wells, Derby, Phoenix, Jerry Lee and Finnian.....
If tears could build a stairway, and memories a lane, I'd walk right up to heaven
and bring you home again.

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